Everywhere we look, festive decorations are dangling from doorways and treetops, shop fronts and billboards, and holiday melodies fill the airwaves or play in our local coffee shops and grocery stores. It’s almost impossible not to get swept up in the revelry, and we should celebrate! Celebration, after all, is the most significant expression of our joy and gratitude and the perfect energy with which to welcome Chanukah.
Chanukah is a cosmic opening, a portal that opens for eight days, where the “concealed Light” is revealed and becomes available for us all. No matter the negative words we may have spoken or actions we may have taken when we light the candles of Chanukah, that light shines in our souls, burning away any negativity. If we are unconsciously holding a negative consciousness—which is any time that we allow judgment, doubt, and fear into our experience—we restrict so much goodness from reaching us. The eight days of Chanukah bring us great Light, but they also serve to remind us that there is no greater arbiter of miracles than a shifted consciousness.
In fact, there’s a parable that illustrates this particular aspect of Chanukah beautifully.
There was once a great kabbalist who asked people who came to him with their problems to write down their names and the difficulties they were facing on a piece of paper. The sage would then meditate on what had been written.
One day, a man came to the kabbalist with two pieces of paper: one was his, and the other was his friend’s. First, he gave his paper, then his friend’s, which the kabbalist looked at and said, “I see that this man’s soul is shining with tremendous Light.” He meditated on the friend’s name and prayed for him.
A few months later, the same man returned to the kabbalist. Again, he presented the kabbalist with both his name and that of his friend for the kabbalist to pray and meditate on. But this time, when the kabbalist looked at the friend’s name, he gasped. “This person must be in need of prayer. He has so much negativity surrounding him.”
The man was perplexed. “I’m very confused. A few months ago, I gave you the very same name, and you told me that his soul was shining with tremendous Light. Now you tell me that he’s a negative person. How can this be?”
The kabbalist thought for a few moments and said, “I understand what happened. A few months ago, when you first came in with that person’s name, he was lighting the candles for Chanukah. When a person lights the candles on Chanukah, no matter how negative he is and no matter how many negative actions he’s done, the Light of Chanukah shines in his soul. Your friend must not have continued his connection with the Light when Chanukah was over. He gave it up, and that negativity has returned.”
Chanukah is synonymous with miracles, and we have eight days allotted to reveal them, but it isn’t just Chanukah that brings them about. This parable reminds us that we are co-creators with the Light. It isn’t enough to simply observe Chanukah and light the candles each night—we have to embody the energy of miracles in order to bring them about.
But what is a miracle? And how do we understand and classify what a miracle is? According to the Oxford Dictionary, a miracle is “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.” Put another way, it is a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment. These definitions might bring to mind near-death experiences, winning the lottery, or another epic twist of fate, but some of the miracles we experience every day are just as inspiring when we look at them in new ways.
Albert Einstein famously said that there are only two ways to live our lives; one is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other is as though everything is a miracle.
Part of our problem is that we want to understand everything in life; we want all the answers, and very often, we doubt when a miracle occurs because it is outside of our realm of logic. But that’s just the thing we need to create miracles! We need to believe in the “impossible” in order for our view of the world to change. When we imagine infinite possibilities, we step into a perspective of miracles. Going beyond what we think makes sense while appreciating the miracle of everyday life, that is when miracles will overflow into our lives.
The purpose of creating miracles in all of our lives is not merely done for the miracle’s sake; it is for our sake so that we are able to awaken our certainty and become a channel for the miraculous. The more we can reveal miracles, not only for ourselves but for the world at large, the more fulfilled our lives will become. The more fulfilled we are, the more Light we are able to share with everyone in our lives, creating a domino effect of positivity. To quote Albert Einstein again, only a life lived for others is worth living.
If we can commit to strengthening and transforming our consciousness every day, that is how we will live a truly fulfilled life. The gift of Chanukah is that it’s the one holiday when we don’t have any work to do at all. We just light the candles to draw in all the blessings and miracles we desire for the rest of the year. But if we can align a consciousness of miracles with the Light of Chanukah and a desire to share, we’ll be lighting the way for ourselves and each other.